After my kids woke up this morning, I wished them a Merry Michaelmas. They (ages 5, 4, 2 & 2) naturally did not know what Mommy was talking about, so I explained that we were celebrating a feast day today in honor of St. Michael and the other Archangels, St. Gabriel and St. Raphael. I said that they can call today Michaelmas or the Feast of the Archangels.
My 4 year old son then asked, excitedly, if that meant we were going to go to Mass today. I had not yet explained that the “-mas” in Christmas is a shortened form of Mass; he simply put two and two together by himself. Wow!
Okay, so from now on, I am using ALL of the old -mas suffixes in our household! I am astounded and thankful that my 4 year old understood something so beautiful about the liturgical calendar!
So, as of today, our family is going to use the -mas suffixes when referring to these holy days, feast days and memorials:
- Lussimass, Dec. 13 (St. Lucy’s; note that this suffix has two s’s because its roots are Scandinavian)
- Christmas, Dec. 25 (Nativity of the Lord)
- Childermas, Dec. 28 (Holy Innocents)
- Candlemas, Feb. 2 (Presentation of the Lord)
- Johnsmas, Jun. 24 (Nativity of St. John the Baptist)
- Marymas, Aug. 15 (Assumption)
- Michaelmas, Sep. 29 (Archangels)
- Hallowmas, Nov. 1 (All Saints’)
- Martinmas, Nov. 11 (St. Martin’s)
- Soulmas, Nov. 2 (All Souls’)
- Andermas, Nov 30 (St. Andrew’s)
Furthermore, we are going to celebrate these days by going to MASS! Sounds ridiculously obvious if you think about it, but unfortunately not a family tradition for us until now.
Roodmas/Crouchmas was a duplicate Feast for the Holy Cross on May 3, but as that celebration has been removed from the calendar in favor of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross (September 14), we will not be celebrating Roodmas.
Similarly, Lammas was a name for the old Feast of St. Peter in Chains on August 1, when families would bring bread to the church to be blessed, but as the wisdom of the Holy See under the guidance of the Holy Spirit has removed St. Peter in Chains from the General Roman Calendar, our family will not be celebrating Lammas. Also, Lammas is apparently having a resurgence as a big neo-pagan festival.
Merry Michaelmas to you and your family!
Saints Michael, Gabriel & Raphael, pray for us!